Monday, September 30, 2013

Blueberry Grunt

Cobblers, Grunts and Slumps, Crisps, Crumbles, Betty's, and Buckles

My latest class at Kitchen Conservatory featured these great classic American desserts.  First I started with a definition of each.  Over the years they have sorted of morphed into the same thing we all call cobbler, but there are differences and different names to go with them.

On the most basic level they all contain fruit with a topping.  Most of them are baked, with the exception of the grunt and the slump, which are the same thing with two names.  The Grunt or Slump is done on the stove top, and the biscuit topping is steamed.

Cobbler-Biscuit topping dropped onto the fruit, when baked the top resembles a cobbled street surface
Grunt or Slump-Biscuit topping that is steamed, not baked-think chicken and dumplings
Pan Dowdy-biscuit or pie dough topping that is rolled out into a single layer, placed over the fruit and baked, the
       surface  is then broken up with a spoon and pushed into the fruit (dowding it) before finishing baking
Crisp-Streusel topping
Crumble-Streusel topping with the addition of rolled oats
Betty-Bread crumb topping, but also a layer of bread crumbs on the bottom as well
Buckle-a cake batter is poured into the pan, and the fruit is spoon over the top, as it bakes, the cake batter "buckles" up over the fruit.

Blueberry Grunt
1 quart of blueberries, cleaned
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups of flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of buttermilk
Combine the filling ingredients together in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.  Bring the mixture to the boil, lower the heat to simmer.
While the blueberries are heating, make the topping.   Stir the flour, sugar. baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture until pea sized clumps form.
Stir the buttermilk into the flour mixture.  Drop the batter by spoonful's onto the top of the simmering blueberries, cover with a lid and continue simmering until the dumplings are done-about 15 minutes.
The Grunt is probably the most rustic dessert of the lot, popular before ovens were available to most folks.  The dessert is named after the gurgling and grunting sounds the dish made while cooking over the open fire.  The dumplings are so light and fluffy-it is a really satisfying munch.  I served it with a glog of heavy cream.  It is the same dessert as the slump-I have no idea where the name slump came from,